Recruit, Inspire & Retain

August 2003

Ideas for "Marketing" and Providing "Customer Service" to Current and Potential Employees

Great Training for Great Employees
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NEWSFLASH: This issue is FULL of actual exercises for you to use!  

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Recruiting for “Unglamorous” Jobs

 Not every firm can offer the glamour of a Cisco, HP, or GE. And even in “glamorous” companies, not all the jobs are glamorous! Use an approach where you identify what job features you have to sell and then target the type of people that would naturally be attracted to those features.

Start with a referral program
* Use current and former employees as your primary recruiting mechanism. They are likely to socialize with people of similar interests.

* Provide them with a bonus for all referrals that are hired. Most organizations divide the bonus: ½ at hire, ½ after a pre-determined retention period (offer $ or other incentives that are meaningful to them).

* Use the new hires by asking them who else might be interested in working at your company.

Find individuals that are already attracted to your job features
Start your recruiting campaign by looking for people that like/enjoy your “positives”. In order to do this, you’ll have to make a list of them and then determine where people who’d be attracted to those things hang out. Then go out and look for those people.

1. Ask current employees why they like the job/organization.

2. For each thing they like (a “positive”), list places where people like that spend time/things they read.

3. For each “positive”, write what you’ll do to let them know about the job. Example: for outdoor labor in hot climate, look for people who love the outdoors (fishing, camping, swimming clubs).

Plan Ahead to Counter the Negatives in Your Discussions with Potential Employees.
Contact people three months after they quit to find out why they left. Counter some of the reasons in your recruiting literature and during the interview.

The key is to find people that think of your negatives as "positives."

SOURCE: John Sullivan, professor of management
at San Francisco State University, Jan. 9, 2003.


Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Hire Tough, Manage Easy: How to Find & Hire the Best Hourly Employees, by Mel Kleiman. To order, e-mail or call 800-469-3560.
Interviewing Techniques for Managers, by TRAINING SYSTEMS' own Carolyn B. Thompson.

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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Clients and friends of the Edwards Jones office.

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If You Were Given $100...

In the last two issues you answered riddles and won prizes from us. In this issue, contribute to whomever you want — e-mail with your answer to this question:


PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous posters that are pre-set to work on “auto-pilot”. Makes a great “WELCOME” message or enhancement to your session break. Runs about 5 minutes, and is set to automatically recycle. You can add in your own slides. (a great place to slip in your objectives!) Get your PowerPoint screen show here!
BUY PACKS of inspirational posters. (Do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for Training Room Posters (30/pack).)

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* Jamie Sadler, ASAE, called to schedule a session on how to be a leadership genius and said she saw The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush in the book section at Safeway grocery store!

* Another Leadership Genius comment overheard from a man at a lunch session, “It’s the best business book on the market.”

* Mary Long, Transition Assistance Manager, USAFE, bought 11 Career Tool Kits – said she’s giving one to each base at an Employment Boot Camp for employment professionals stationed throughout Europe.

* Sharon Bowman, friend, colleague, author of Preventing Death by Lecture and many others e-mailed to say she’s listing TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., books and our website in all her books as a resource.

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Articulate Your Vision So Employees Can Be Inspired

Do you need to have a vision? It’s not like you have a choice!

You have one whether you can articulate it or not.

You have one whether you actively pursue it or not.

The problem—of course—is, if you haven’t articulated it and haven’t communicated it, you can be pretty sure that others in your organization don’t have the same vision as you. I guess we don’t even need to talk about the “actively pursuing it” part, do we.

In case your employees think an articulated vision isn’t needed to get where you’re going, try this:

1. Divide people (in groups of 3-4). Each group with a sheet of flip chart paper (or legal size paper if space is an issue) plus multiple markers/crayons.

2. Ask everyone to silently capture a vision in their mind of a vacation that they have enjoyed in the past or would like to experience.

3. Tell them that there is no speaking during this. One person begins to draw on the paper what the vacation looks like, then the next person continues the drawing of the vacation they envisioned, and the next. You call out for a change every 30 seconds until they have each had at least two or three turns at creating the picture. (The pictures tend to be very disjointed and fun – with beach people mistaking a mountain for the edge of the ocean, etc.) Processing – this should be pretty easy!


When everyone knows, understands, buys into, and has a daily role in achieving the vision, the vision will become reality. By now, the FISH Philosophy is well known.

The employees of the Pike Place Fish Market developed their vision: “to become world famous”.
They set up daily roles to achieve it: “Play, Make Their Day (customers), Be There (for co-workers & customers) & Choose Your Attitude”.
Outcome: they are now world famous (Pike Place Fish Market is a well know tourist attraction; it was used as a location in the movie Free Willy; millions of people have read the 3 FISH books and watched the videos, leading to world famous).

Getting that vision outside your brain, or
Articulating the Vision:
* Use the ideas in FISH, FISH Sticks and FISH Tales to write the vision and set roles for working toward it.

* Ask employees to write, “Why do you work here/what do you do?”

* Other things we’ve asked employees in vision articulating sessions that’ll get you the words you need–

Write an obituary for the organization (3 sentences at the most).
List all the words you’ve said or heard people say about the organization (go ask your customers & vendors, too).
Write newspaper headlines about the organization 3-5 years from now.

Out of the many, many things you write down you’ll be able to piece together a short sentence that’s understood by all. With one client, we helped them get their multi-sentence vision down to a short sentence by writing each word on an 8½x11 sheet and taping the sheets in order around the room. People took away sheet after sheet as words were deemed to be extraneous. In the end, even some words were crossed out and new ones written in. Result: one sentence, 7 words.

Once the vision is articulated, communicate it in every way, everywhere (marketing materials, employment applications, employee handbook, orientation, performance evaluation measures, incentive program).

There are also excellent practice exercises in Chapter 2 of The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush for verbally communication of the vision.

Make a Comment/Question

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush**TOOL BOX**
The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common
Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief,
Chapter 2, by Carolyn B. Thompson & James W. Ware .
Bullfighter - software by Deloitte Consulting, that works like
a spell checker with Microsoft Word & PPT. It flags
“bull words” so sentences are more “real world”. Free at
FISH/FISH TALES/FISH STICKS books or videos, e-mail or call 800-469-3560

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Employee Orientation Made Easy - Really

Let’s start with the most important pieces of information:

Yes. You have to help employees learn their jobs right away.

No. Telling them to just “ask you if they need help” is not going to get them to productivity fast

Yes. Research shows that they’ll learn fast — if it’s fun.

No. Fun, gee-whiz, wacky training will not help them retain & use what they learned UNLESS what they’re learning now is what they’ll use really soon (useless– learning how to complete time off forms now that they can’t use for 6 months).

Yes. Orientation starts before day 1 (really, it begins in the recruiting process) and just blends into ongoing learning through day to day coaching from supervisors, HR Department, Training Dept., outside coach, reading. Research shows that training alone creates a 22.4% increase in productivity training and ongoing coaching increased productivity by 88%.

No. You don’t want to be part of the statistics: $62 billion spent annually in training in the U.S. alone without ongoing coaching & support only 5-10% is retained long enough to use it.

Yes. Training soft skills is important and can help new employees get off on the right foot.

No. You shouldn’t be scared off by the recent “employee leaves ethics/diversity training and shoots co-workers”. Training didn’t create this situation. Training is one part of managing employees. Day to day listening, guiding, and if that doesn’t work, damage control, is the other.

Ideas for interactive orientation & ongoing learning:

* Written exams and weekly quizzes test restaurant server knowledge continually at a couple of restaurants in Chicago and Houston. After 30 days, and annually thereafter, servers must pass an extensive written test composed of 80 open-ended questions. A comprehensive training book that includes photos of menu items, descriptions, ingredients used, prices, prep times, restaurant history, etc. is kept at the restaurant and copies are available to take home. In addition, they do short presentations at pre-shift meetings on industry trends, product info given by suppliers (along with written descriptions for servers to memorize and use when talking to customers), and suggestive selling and service pointers.

* Web-based or CD-rom simulation of their job - think Sim City (it’s captivating because it’s doing the actual tasks, and it’s easy to use - not too many bells & whistles).

* Start a Book Club with new employees and current - ideas suggested by our clients recently:
  False Profits: The Gurus Who Created Modern Management & Why Their Ideas Are Bad for Business Today
  Geeks & Geezers: How Era, Values & Defining Moments Shape Leaders
  All Hat, No Cattle: Tales of a Corporate Outlaw
  The Rebel Rules
  Competing on the Edge: Strategy & Structured Chaos

What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning And Literacy, by James Gee.
30 Ways to Shine As a New Employee: A Guide to Success, by Denise Bisonnette.

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“A Job Well Done” Will Retain Employees

You just read how to help new employees become productive - have a “job well done”. So of course training and coaching is important. A new book, Why Pride Matters More Than Money by John Katzenbach, tells stories about all kinds of people in all kinds of companies who are motivated and want to stay in their job and/or at their company because they feel they’re doing a great job. In addition to helping them be successful, give them resources to see it. Use these exercises with your staff:

* What am I good at?: literally have them write all the things they’re good at (this doubles as their input to this year’s performance appraisal!).

* What I’m thankful for: in studies at the University of California, Davis, subjects were given journals and told to keep a list of things they were grateful for, annoyed about, or neutral over. People in the gratitude group were more satisfied and optimistic than those in the annoyed and neutral groups, and they even felt more connected to others, slept better, and had fewer headaches and sore throats. To reap these rewards, jot down 5 ways your life has been made better each day; you’ll feel the good effects in two or three weeks.

* What I did well today: ditto on the write 3-5 things & ditto on the outcome!

Journal 10+ – Write what you did well today! Then next year you can read what you did well last year while writing today’s! 11 years of each date on a page!

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Put the TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. site on your Windows taskbar! Right click blank area of taskbar, select Toolbars/New Toolbar, in new Toolbar box, enter

Buy The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief from our online TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. catalog or by e-mailing or calling 800-469-3560.

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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August 13, 2003
Chat online with Libby Sartain, Chief People Yahoo at Yahoo! at 10:00AM EST. Sponsored by Fast Company-Company of Friends listserv, join the group at RSVP at to get the exact location of this FREE event.

August 23-26, 2003
American Society of Association Executives Annual
Meeting and Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii, 

September 14-16, 2003
7th National HIPAA Summit at the Baltimore Marriott
Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore, MD, 

September 16, 2003
IT&ME The Motivation Show, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, 

September 18-20, 2003
ISPI Performance-Based Instructional Systems Design
Conference 2003, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, 

September 22-24, 2003
Online Learning & Training Fall Conference & Expo, Los
Angeles Convention Center, 

September 24-26, 2003
ER Expo 2003 Chicago, Chicago, IL, 

October 6-7, 2003
Documentation & Training 2003, Tyngsboro, MA, or 

October 6-10, 2003
National Customer Service Week, 

October 8-10, 2003
HR Technology Conference & Exposition, Pennsylvania
Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, 

October 10-12, 2003
9th International Association of Facilitators (IAF)
Europe Conference, Barclays University, Staverton Park,
Northamptonshire, England, UK, contact Gary Austin at 

October 20-21, 2003
Collaboration 2003, Loews Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis, MD, 

October 20-24, 2003
University of Michigan Business School Strategic Human Resource Planning, Ann Arbor Campus, Ann Arbor, MI, overview

November 2, 2003
Insurance Conference Planners Association Annual Meeting
Kissimmee, FL, 

November 5-9, 2003
International Career Development Conference, Marriott City Center, Oakland, CA, 

November 17-20, 2003
Fifth Annual Corporate University Week, Orlando, FL, 

Global Volunteers short-term volunteer service programs need trainers, business owners, attorneys, healthcare professionals to work in Poland, Mexico, Hungary, China, Costa Rico, Italy, the United States, and many others. Http:// 

Want to stop getting those telemarketing calls at the office and home? Go to is an employment site for jobs in beautiful places. Great for summer!

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